Congratulation to the 2023 Ocean Champion Challenge Overall Winner, Roze Webster!
Seaweek’s Ocean Champion Challenge is all about celebrating the work of passionate ocean advocates and sharing their stories to inspire others. This year we received over 50 unique video entries from a wide range of individuals and groups which tell the stories of how they acted to protect the ocean. In her video entry, this year’s overall Ocean Champion winner Roze describes how she uses her writing as a vessel for environmental education and activism.
Roze Webster is a children's author, environmental educator, mother and active member of her community in the Bay of Islands. Roze's writing focuses on our marine environments, conveying important themes of responsibility towards protecting the ocean and its animals. In addition to raising awareness for the ocean through her writing, Roze has started the Kororā Collection Project – a community recycling initiative.
She recently published her third book in The Adventures of Wee Reggie & Willis the Whale Shark series which launched over Seaweek! Her children’s book series follows wee Reggie as he discovers plastic in the ocean and promises to protect his sea creature friends from it. The books raise awareness and inspire readers to act. Two of her books; That is not a Sea Creature and, most recently, We speak for the sea have a special focus on plastic pollution. Following We speak for the sea's release, Roze has visited several schools and ECE centres to empower children and spread her message further.
“I try to convey a very dire message in the most positive of ways, so to empower children to feel that they have the ability to do something about the plastic pollution crisis.”
Another exciting and engaging aspect of what Roze does to advocate for the marine environment is The Kororā Collection Project. This initiative aims to reduce plastic entering landfills and the ocean by collecting and recycling local rubbish in a creative way. The project will use a shredder and sheet press machines to break down plastic bottle caps.
Once the plastic has been processed, it is upcycled into sea creature keychains and other creations, which can be sold to fund the project. Roze is connecting with local businesses through her upcycled products and will supply local boutique Brewery Phat House with upcycled beer paddles and key chains.
The shredder and sheet press machines required for the project will be fabricated by the Kerikeri Productive Engineering team with blueprints provided by PreciousPlastics.org. To fundraise for the materials and fabrication of the machines, Roze will hold a ‘Reimagined Wearable Art Show’ this September. The upcoming wearable art show follows her successful ‘Mad Hatters Ball’ fundraiser at the Phat House, where guests were awarded prizes for their creative upcycled hats. This September's Reimagined Wearable Art Show will have a theme of upcycled garments, encouraging the reuse of objects and discussions on sustainability – we look forward to sharing the details of this event with our audience so stay tuned for more!
My series slowly progresses into more in-depth issues our oceans are struggling with, as wee Reggie grows up & understands more & more (wee Reggie is the youngest of my five children & I started writing this series while I was on maternity leave after having him three years ago). All five of my children make an appearance in book #3, 'We Speak for the Sea', as they are doing all they can to support their little brother in his quest to protect the ocean from plastic pollution."